Wednesday, September 7, 2011

5 Easy Questions with Laura Pauling!

Every Wednesday, I ask a writer the same five easy questions. In an effort to support and promote fellow wordsmiths, I feature authors who write a variety of genres, from sweet inspirational to mainstream thrillers. The writers themselves may be aspiring, published, or  best-selling--all have made an impact on my life.

Thank you for joining me in welcoming… Laura Pauling!!

Laura and I met through blogging, and her intelligence and warmth captured me right away. If you don't suscribe to her blog, remedy that. She writes smart posts about the publishing industry, and she often analyzes books and movies based on plot structure. I always learn something! Laura writes middle grade fiction, and I know it won't be long until her books are on shelves.
Let's get to it!

1. Beverage of choice

My husband is on the search for the perfect smoothie but we have yet to find it. It seems to be very difficult to find that blend between yogurt and seedy berries. So if anyone has any good recipes please add them in the comments. (No seriously, I'm tired of drinking yogurt.) If you ask my kids, they'd say Dunkin Donuts coffee, and they don't mind that because they seem to get a donut from the deal. Sometimes.

2. Any pets?

If my daughter wasn't allergic to dogs, I'm sure my kids would've talked us into a cute little puppy. Instead, my son has a not-so-cute, I mean, extremely cute gerbil named Hercules who makes a lot of noise especially at night or when I'm alone during the day. Unfortunately, I mean, thankfully, he's only escaped once. Except now, my son's talking about his next pet - a snake! Yeah, no thanks.

3. Dream vacation?

Tough question. I'll put it this way, for our anniversary my husband wanted to hike and sleep at an AMC hut. So for us both to have our dream vacations we'd have to split up. He'd live in the woods and pretend to be a pioneer, and I'd rent a house on the ocean so I could watch the sunrise over a steaming cup of coffee and my laptop. I could run on the beach, talk walks...etc. Except, if there were no monetary limits, I'd love to backpack through Europe with someone who knows what they're doing. And then crash in the evening at my magical traveling beach house.

4.What are you listening to right now?

Like right now? Since it's morning and I haven't started writing yet, I'll be honest. In the background, are the groans of pirates dying, ninjas fighting knights, and dinosaurs crashing a castle - otherwise known as my kids. When I'm writing a first draft, the story dictates the music, so I've been listening to Enya and I'm on the search for music like that. Any ideas? Anyone? 

5. What's for dinner?

My husband will be at his fantasy football draft, so I'm making the kids pizza. And I'll have salad. Sometimes I feel like such a mom (I try my hardest to ignore the fact that I drive a mini van and my kids play soccer). 

Too funny, Laura! We make smoothies for breakfast sometimes, and our fave recipe is: a lot of ice, one cup of yogurt, a quart of strawberries, one banana, and a scoop of protein powder. I'm so glad I'm not the only one suckered into having a rodent for a pet. Our guinea pig just won't escape either. And your dream vacay bears a strong resemblance to mine--a week at the beach with plenty of time to putter around the area. No pioneering allowed!

I wish I had some music to recommend. It seems as if there are French artists who share an Enya-like sound, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. Maybe see if iTunes will suggest something and try to borrow a CD from your library? That's the "mom" in me, coming out. Yeah, I drive the mini-van too, and we have soccer games this week. I just pretend my ride is a Mustang convertible. :) Thanks so much for being my guest today!


Laura Pauling writes middle grade and young adult novels, sometimes funny, sometimes dark and twisty, but always with heart. On her blog, Laura Pauling, she breaks down published novels and movies to discover the secrets of story structure and likes to open discussion on publishing industry trends and issues. To learn more about Laura's writing, head to her blog and follow her on Twitter.

So, what did you have for breakfast this morning? (We're in a breakfast rut.)

Have a happy Wednesday!


  1. Laura and Jill,

    Our smoothies are a big hit. I make either juice-based or cream-based. The kids have been asking for a lot of cream-based ones lately, so I've been using frozen yogurt to keep it healthier.

    Cream-based: pour milk up to the #2 on the blender. Add froz yogurt up to the 3.5 on the blender. Add frozen berries (we use strawberries, but any will do) up to the 4.5/5 on the blender (see how precise I am, lol?). Then blend the heck out of the whole thing.

    For juice-based, I just substitute limeade (milder) or o.j. (tart) for the milk, and ice for the froz yogurt, but I put the ice in last because the blender does a better job if you put the softer ingredients in first, and froz fruit is softer than ice, but not softer than ice cream/froz yogurt. Am I making any sense here? It's still pretty early in the morning, lol.

  2. So much fun to get to know you a little better, Laura!

    Jamba Juice makes mad smoothies. Do you have one around where you live?

  3. This was a lot of fun to read! I sadly have no smoothies or tunes suggestions. #epicfail

    I'm an even bigger #epicfail in the breakfast category, as my son ate half a family size bag of Cheese Puffs yesterday morning before school.

    The hashtags were in honor of your cool writing style, Laura! :) I wanna hit the beach and Europe with you. We can take my mini-van. lol

  4. I'm so sorry your daughter is allergic to dogs. That's so sad. Because I'm with you -- no snakes!! Drawing the line there.

  5. Good morning!

    Laura: My pleasure--thanks for being my guest!!

    Kathy: I never thought to use Limeade! What a great idea. My kids would love that one!

    Katie: I've heard good things about Jamba Juice but I've never had one. Maybe next time I'm at a mall food court? Oh, who am I kidding? I'll go straight to Auntie Anne's pretzels as usual. :)

    Jessica: Ha!! Just spit my coffee out at your son's breakfast! You are so not alone! We try to eat healthy, but sometimes I just close my eyes and hope they're eating, even if it's Doritos!

    Heather: Snakes are not pets--not in my house! I only want soft, furry things. Well, besides the fish and the sea monkeys. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  6. Great interview! I love Laura's blog!
    And I had a Poptart for breakfast!

  7. Hey everyone! I'll have my Hub look at the suggestions and compare to what he uses.

    I'm kind of glad we can't have a dog b/c I know who ends up doing all the work - the mom!

  8. Pet snake? That sounds bad on so many levels. Nice idea for trip Laura and another great interview post Jill as always ;-)

  9. I do mostly green smoothies here - spinach and water to start, with a scoop of yogurt (but you could easily substitute milk, it just would be thinner), and frozen blueberries (I hate getting seeds stuck in my teeth). I hate bananas, but I really should start adding one to the mix for the potassium. Sigh ... the things we do to stay healthy!

    Like Jill, I KNOW I know some artists like Enya, but honestly can't think of any right now. If any come to me later, I'll get back to you with them.

    (And our breakfast this morning was banana bread - which is the only way I can eat bananas without gagging!)

  10. You know, we don't eat enough salad.

    Hi Laura. I love how Jill hosts cool folks like you.

    Do you do flax seeds in the smoothies. That was my kick this summer and I threw oatmeal in, too. Real health kick (and somehow I gained weight...must have been the lack of exercise due to writing).

    ~ Wendy

  11. I love the peeks into your routine! And what is it with pets making noise during the day!! LOL

    Let me know where I can order one of those magical floating beach houses. :)

  12. We have a place nearby that makes nurti-smoothies, and they're amazing. I just make them with 1% mile, lite strawberries, nonfat yogurt, and splenda. Mine are pretty good. I will have to try some of the frozen yogurt with them.

    Thanks for sharing a bit of your life with us, Laura. I'm with you on the ocean view vacation!

  13. I don't do smoothies, Laura. Sorry. OK, I don't do coffee either. Will ya still speak to me? =)

    I'm not into rustic pioneer vacations either, but my hubby loves 'em. I did tent camp for years (love is a powerful motivator), but I drew the line at backpacking. That's so not me.

  14. Hilarious! I mean, wonderful answers...yeah...yeah.... :) My idea of a smoothie is anything mixed with milk or ice cream. I guess that makes it more of a milkshake than a smoothie, huh? I did used to make a wicked frozen peaches and strawberry smoothie that I had every morning for weeks. A little bit of sugar mixed in and I was in heaven!! Good luck with the joint vacation. We've finally agreed to one we'd both love. That only took...21 years? Hahaha. Awesome interview Jill.

  15. Hercules? Hee hee! That's great.

    Nice to meet you here, Laura.

    As to breakfast...eek! I haven't had any today.

  16. Great interview, Jill.
    Nice to meet you, Laura.

    My hubby is in a fantasy football league too.

    No breakfast this morning. Just tea.

  17. Enjoyed a total indulgence breakfast. The healthy part was a banana. The unhealthy parts? Venti mocha (hold the caffeine, the whip cream and the milk fat, but make sure you put in lots of chocolate syrup!) and a poppyseed muffin! Well, it is a vacay week, after all. Nice to meet you, Laura.

  18. No breakfast for me, but I did have breakfast for lunch, does that count? Scrambled eggs with cheese and wheat toast...may have a smoothie this afternoon, now that I've read all these good recipes!

  19. Wow! Loving all these recipes and breakfast ideas!! I'm being soccer mom today--in the rain!!--and can't wait to come back and write these down!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, everyone!!

  20. So nice to meet you, Laura! My breakfast today was scrambled eggs and a banana. Yep, bland and boring. I'll have to spice it up with a smoothie tomorrow. :)

  21. I'm not sure about the spinach smoothie though. We do put some flax seed and oatmeal in our pancakes. :) And yes, this whole week is about being a soccer mom in the rain. I need a big huge golf umbrella. Pronto. But I can't find them anywhere. Grr.

  22. Thanks for introducing us to Laura. :) Her interview reminded me that I need to get a new blender, so I can make smoothies again. :)

    I had scrambled eggs, potato chunks, cinnamon apples and toast. I was then offered a free piece of pie. I took it home for my daughter. I had no idea that Village Inn had free pie on Wednesday!

  23. Laura does have a wonderful blog and I need to get there more often! It's late night now so I don't remember what I had for breakfast, but when I am in the US I always need to visit Dunkin' Donuts!

  24. Pie and donuts are always a good thing at breakfast-time!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  25. Secret Garden is the first thing I thought of when you asked for something like Enya. I just loved your idea about traveling around Europe with someone experienced and then crashing at your magical traveling beach house each night!!!!

  26. Fun interview!

    I'm a milk 'n cereal kind of gal. :) I ate Honey Nut Cheerios for years, but have started branching out with coupons.

    Laura, I'm with you. No roughing it on vacation.


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